Abimbola Fola Bolumole is the founder of Woman with Child, a community outreach that supports pregnant women. This outreach also helps to sensitise women about maternal and infant mortality rates and help prevent the rising incidence of maternal and infant deaths. Bolumole is a woman of many parts, who is also an event planner. About 16 years ago, she composed the popular worship song, “Ka bi o si o,”, which stirs many within the Nigerian Pentecostal community. Recently, she launched her book entitled, “Positive, Healthy and Joyful Pregnancy” and released a new song too, to mark her 40th birthday. In this interview, she talks about her passion for pregnant women, her book, music and other issues
By Bolatito Adeboye
What inspired the book?
I have a passion for women, especially pregnant women. The passion increased after I had my first child. I experienced an after-birth crisis that almost took my life. I had a fabulous pregnancy. I was so filled with energy that I could literarily clean the whole house; I never had nausea, no vomiting, no morning sickness or anything of the sort.
But when the baby was born, there was post-partum crisis that nearly took my life but what I remembered that kept me going was that I held onto God. My experience during that period was what inspired the book because at that time, I kept on holding onto God’s word, that I would not die, but live to declare God’s word, and testify about his goodness in my life.
So, that was one of the things that kept me going. Even when I didn’t know what was wrong because I actually didn’t know what was wrong on time until after getting to the hospital. I knew that my life would not end with that because God had a purpose for my life. I realized that pregnancy is beyond just going for ante-natal care, taking the routine drugs for pregnant women. There is also a place for speaking. I have come to understand that many women died because they gave up fighting and all these things put together inspired the book. Immediately a woman gets pregnant, she should start speaking early because it was some of the things I said that I had to table before, asking Him to remember his covenant.
As an author of a book on pregnancy and someone who engaged advocacy on maternal and infant mortality, what does the mortality rate say about the country?
That’s part of the vision we have in our community, like sometime last year, we held an outreach in a small health centre close to our area just to create awareness because some of the mortality cases can be avoided. Ignorance can be a major thing. For instance, a woman is pregnant and she has a complication and the doctor tells her to prepare for a caesarian delivery.
Instead of staying with the doctor, she runs away because she is afraid of surgery and at the end of the day, she dies trying to have a natural delivery. So, we try to create awareness about these things and tell women that a caesarian section is not death sentence; we try to let women know that going to the hospital is not wrong during pregnancy. It is God that has given doctors wisdom and they are there so that they can help women make delivery process easier and smoother. So if you don’t have money for a private hospital, go to the general hospital that is available in the community. They can help too; that way, the maternal mortality rate will be reduced. Unfortunately, some people don’t even go for ante-natal care at all when they are pregnant; rather they visit traditional birth attendants, and these traditional methods can have adverse side effects, which they don’t know about and those things can actually cause the death of a baby. During delivery in the facilities of traditional birth attendants, complications sometimes arise because the birth attendant is not well trained on how to handle such cases. So, our campaign for next year is to reach out to these communities.
One of the things that women battle with after delivery is depression. Can you shed more light on this?
Another name for that is baby blues. I went through that as well, because of the sickness I suffered. However, I have realized that what women need basically at that time is someone to encourage them. They need to be reassured that they are doing a good job because most of the time what makes women fall into depression is that they are so overwhelmed. You know it isa news experience, the woman just gave birth to a baby; sometimes, some of them don’t even have help, may be the husband is not as supportive at that period as much as possible. He has his own needs as well. She’s not able to meet his needs and of course, the whole thing goes back and forth. These things can make women slip easily into depression because, aside from taking care of the new baby and losing sleep, a woman also has to take care of the home.
I always encourage women not to stay alone, they should be around people that can support them. If possible, they should look for mentors that can help during and after pregnancy. I know a young lady who had a baby and her mother couldn’t stay for more than a week. Her mum is a young grandmother and still works as a teacher and her school was not on holiday; so she couldn’t take permission to leave. However, this lady has an older friend that came around every morning to help bath her baby. In developed countries, there are support groups for women. Moreover, women should read good books to get knowledgeable and they should keep declaring the word of God over their lives, their babies and their general situation.
You are an author and a musician. Why the particular interest in music?
Music had always been a part of my life and this is not my first work and not the first song I sang. My first composition was “Ka bi o si o”, which became a popular worship song that people still love to sing, 16 years after I wrote and published it. However, this is my first proper recording because God gave me the “Ka bi o si” song to me while I was engaged in school fellowship. I shared it with the body of Christ, and today the song is everywhere but at that time it was just known to the student body. But when they went home, each of the students took the song with them.
So, let me say that my second song is “Ki le o le se.” It simply means that there is nothing impossible for God. That song was born when I was praying for my younger sister, who had a health crisis. While I was praying for her, God kept saying to me that there was nothing impossible for him and so the song was birthed.
When did you release it?
It was released November 2, to mark my birthday.
What is the acceptance like?
Well, quite good; at least the week we released the song it became the song of the week. Many people have listened to it and they have been saying it is a powerful song. God gave me this song during a deep time worship experience. The song is available for free download online. We made it free so that people can download it and it will be a blessing to the world.
How do you juggle being a mum, wife, your outreach activities, being a musician, an event planner and an author all together?
Well, I won’t say it’s that easy but I realized that when you have a passion for something, whatever it is, the passion keeps you alive. I try as much as possible to create time for all these things and then in the place of the passion I have for women. I try to create structures around those things and I still try to create time to rest as well. However, my family comes first and every other thing follows. I create time for my children and husband too. I try to balance all thisthings because I have realized that being a wife and mum shouldn’t stop one from fulfilling my purpose in life.